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Found 32 results

  1. Hello! I hope this is is an appropriate place to bring this up - it's not a bug per se, but possibly an oversight. Basically, I'm at the point of the story where the Watcher has figured out they can track Eothas using the adra pillars. The main quest objective is to speak to the Queen in Neketaka. The Watcher still doesn't know why Eothas is gathering up all this energy from the pillars; it's still unknown what his ultimate goal is. Unfortunately for me, I'm one of those players who spends hours and hours doing everything but the main quest in a game like this. Among the quests I was able to more or less complete, was Xoti's The Lantern of Gaun, and once that is concluded (for the moment), both parts of the quest dialogue itself and the quest log seems to spoil for me what Eothas' plans are. I've attached a screenshot of said log, where it says clearly what Eothas intends to do. It's improbable that I've missed this piece of information before this stage of the main quest (and the Watcher normally acts as if they still don't know what Eothas is really up to). Either way, I felt a bit cheated after this quest.
  2. I'm experiencing a repeat conversation between Aloth/Iselmyr and Eder every time we rest..the one where she talks to Eder and tries to get him to kiss Aloth as a prank. Every time we rest, no matter where it is, this conversation gets triggered. I don't know what is making it repeat upon every rest. I believe when it first happened was at the Engwithian ruins with the giant construct and the missing Vailian expedition party. (I forget the name) This has been going on, even after a reload. Is anyone else having this problem? Thanks!
  3. Just finished Deadfire for the second time now. Thinking of making an evil character solo PoTD now... am I crazy for the game? How many times have you played? What are your thoughts on what happens in Eora after everything and the future of PoE as a game now on Microsoft?
  4. There were several hidden skill checks in the last part of the DLC (or the sound of "Skill check failed"; the Pool of Memories) and after defeating the Porokoa is was possible to tell Engari that the Faces were incarnations of one Watcher (with "Honest" disposition). I could not confirm or disprove it in my playthroughs, because I was not able to pass the above-mentioned skill checks. Is this information correct? And, if it is, why do the Faces go on a murder rampage, when freed (with or without host)? I apologize in advance, if the topic was started too early (10 days after the release of the DLC).
  5. I was completing the Waidwen part of the quest and in the end I told Waidwen to help me when I confront Eothas. If I understand correctly this means I am taking Waidwen's soul from the realm of BOW and returning him to Eora with me. As I expected, when I got out of "The bridge ablaze" area the warrior with frozen armor told me that Rymrgand might not like that the watcher is taking souls from his realm. Surprisingly, when I talked to Rymrgand before the BOW final fight and after the fight, there was no mention of Waidwen. I was really surprised with this kind indifference since Rymrgand is very strict about properties not leaving his realm. Am I missing something here? What happens in other dialogue options? Does Waidwen get mentioned in any part of the dialogues if you kidnap him?
  6. So I am loving this so far and I am trying really hard to reconcile the two parts of Naxiva ix Kirent but I am not sure it is actually possible. I have done so many different combinations of motes and dialogue choices. So I want to know. Has anybody here managed to reconcile her or am I just chasing a dream here and I should just get the fight over with and move on to the next part of the story.
  7. I've yet to see a topic like this on the forums yet (perhaps it was buried), but what are some funny moments, ridiculous bugs, or simple wtf situations you've encountered in-game? So, I know that Aloth has a solid reputation at this point of being ridiculously picky and judgemental, but what the heck is this? He's now breaking the 4th wall... Nothing says hubris like punishing humidity in a jungle. Right? Note: Aloth's complaints are always silent.
  8. I think Pillars of Eternity 2 is good example of both how you can execute meaningful story/choice in a game as well as how fragile that feeling can be in a way well beyond the ordinary fare of games. This has spoilers for Pillars of Eternity 2 as it's used as an example. If you are not ok with that, turn back now. Specifically the Trading guilds in POE 2 put you in very uncomfortable situations with choices that go beyond good/bad that are compelling. Each of the two trading guilds is heavily expansion/profit oriented in different ways and they both, in a nice touch, go out of their way to use your own ideals against you in their reasoning via the game's disposition system. They make compelling cases and I ended up helping them accidentally a disturbing amount while just trying to do good for the people, which appears to be the intent. This forces the weighing of thoughts like "I'm doing good here but I'm also helping X trading guild that will undoubtedly be a long term negative". When looked at face value, the choices are very standard. Blow this up or restore it. Help this town survive or do not. Feed the starving town via methods that may be illegal, political, or compromise their culture. Support this culture or support the new culture that is usurping it. The game is steeped in such choices that are very straightforwards in nature, stuff that COULD be very one note "yay I'm the hero/villain" and done. Choices made hundreds of times in RPGs that just fade into the background noise. However It's the context that makes the choices so compelling in POE 2. For example restoring a magical pillar ensures the short term survival of a village (starvation) and allows souls to continue the cycle of life undisrupted, however it would allow a trading company to exploit the land and it's people to the point of essentially controlling them both in their rampant greed and pursuit of expansion and more money. Hotheaded, young, and idealistic as they are. Conversely you can choose to destroy the pillar which would jeopardize the short term survival of the village and remove a major avenue of souls to return to the cycle, but pleases the other trading company who is just looking to sabotage their competition who has a jump on them really. But they are older, more patient, and more manipulative and present themselves as trying to avoid the negatives of the first choice. Either way you are theoretically doing some good, but also some ill. There is no "clean" solution or even a pure "dirty" solution. Which is better likely depends on your ideologies. The game has many of those moments where I sit and ponder the ramifications of my actions and how any action, good or bad, will benefit one faction or another in their greed disguised as benevolence, or perhaps benevolence that has begun to show the signs of corruption and greed. They intertwine. That's not to say the game doesn't have it's share of "yay I R good" or "look at me, I'm a bad bad man", moments I also enjoy, but these much more complex moments are definitely the standouts of the game story telling IMO. At least that's how I feel 30 hours in. Unfortunately where it falls apart is their disposition system currently needs some work. The spells the story and choices weave is compelling and strong, yet when the game misreads your character and presents you as something you do not feel is correct the spell is instantly shattered. In my own case I pursued non-violent options and was honest in nearly every situation. However after a few initial successful uses making the scenario compelling the system treated me as if I was aggressive or dishonest in a few scenarios. As this is very counter to the behavior of my character it completely took me out of the moment painstakingly crafted by hours of gameplay and story.....showing the broken machinery behind the scenes on the floor. 95% success and 5% failure robbed almost all of the impact. I cannot tell you, as a player, how shaken this made me despite me having an idea how complicated these systems are. Logically, they will patch the new game and it will improve. Logically it's understandable considering how hard this stuff is. Emotionally none of that matters as an end user though, my head cannon character still lies broken in pieces on the floor. Once shattered the illusion is difficult or even impossible to restore. Gaming is truly a tough and merciless industry. So as an enthusiast with some QA experience looking to learn more about games, POE 2 is proving to be an excellent case study for the story aspects and player choice. For anyone looking for a game that makes you think about both of those in a different way than POE 2 I recommend "The Magic Circle". It's another great game to play to understand both doing story/choice well and also in how missteps can be made. Of great potential and great moments that nonetheless get held back by other aspects.
  9. Hi, I'm doing tip of the spear and I'm trying to do it the "stealthy" way in where I arrange the deaths of the characters to look like accidents. I can kill the priest and the mystic just fine but I can't seem to poison the ranga with the infested koiki fruit, which I'm assuming I'm supposed to do by interacting with this fruit bowl in her room. Bowl and infested koiki: https://imgur.com/a/xBUnbx9 If this isn't a bug and I'm just doing the quest wrong please let me know.
  10. Having finally finished the game (Patch 1.02) after 70 hours I do find myself on this very rare occasion to say a few words about the game. In short I liked it, but it could have been better. Why? well here is my few scrambled up thoughts on the matter. About myself: A crpg fan from BG, Torment, IWD, completed pillars1 with cipher. Played as Monk/Cipher in veteran difficulty with no level scaling in PoE2. Play and GM tapletop games. Bugs - Couldn't finish the Wakaha tribe quest line, it never updated on the alliance, but the queen said I had convinced the wakaha tribe to join her ( but I hadnt even met them at that point in the game) - The Explorer achievement was never completed ( im 99 % sure I have been on every island and named them) -Couldn't finish the mapping quests in Queens berth, it just says " im partway there on islands southwest of neketa - The Old city in Neketa and the Conchets of the sea quests went really oddly when I wondered in, and found the first conch before even I knew what the hell I was doing. I think the Quest got stuck on the Watershapers guild and in with the criminal boss ( D something) - A lot of enemies will not engage the players if they are not in their line of sight, problematic when the Boss summons adds and you end up finding them standing all alone and not going to the fight ( for example the Mecha boss in Ukaizo) Game play Companion classes - Allow custom classes from lv1 for the companions ( Like Edér to become a Swashbuckler street fighter/Unbroken and not just generic swashbuckler) - The Spell casters (Druid, Priest, Wizard, Cipher) In general, a lot weaker than their melee/ranged hitting counterparts, they have limited spells which deal about the same or even less damage as just basic attacks with a lot more micro involved. Seems like for doing damage going duel wield is preferable to any other weapon combo. Defensive spells are favored over offensive ones ( since most of them hit your party as well) and the Condition ones seem unreliable. Going full caster seemed like a bad choice, you really pick up 1-2 spells from your spells available and use them repeatedly. Once you get higher level spells you dont really need to use the lower level ones, or you just use the spells that are easy to use. Situational spells - you dont really want to pick up these because you only get a few spells to choose from. *Suggestion - make the offensive spells more reliable ( maybe even guaranteed HIT or graze at least) and cast faster, lower the damage done from melee attacks, maybe allow the casters to get a separate level up point in Spells and separate for the other skills ( this includes the chanter as well) - AI Pretty horrendous, if you have AI on they will ignore player commands, if not they will stop auto attacking once they have finished whatever command they were repeating. It should be more like finish player command - then go on your silly little AI routine. More often than not they characters will choose to run from their current opponent to engage someone long ways ahead leaving the enemy just battering them for no apparent reason. They will start long 6 second casting times when there is a 1 or 2 weak enemies left - Traps If you dont have a character with perception of 16+ in your party you are going to just step on every trap in creation which just means you step on on all of them, then rest. whilst having a character with 16+ perception makes traps utterly pointless. Traps are boring and pointless. BUT there were a few encounters where there were traps hidden within a fight ( this was good!) *Suggestion - maybe adding a skill check to traps so that they can fail, stepping on traps should alert the enemy of your presence. At least make the obvious rope traps into a lower Perception check. Dont make the standard AI run trough traps in combat though. - Ship combat 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 close in to encounter seems to be the most effective way ( granted your deckhands can die, which is a bit of shame since you cant even gear them). *suggestion. Ship combat needs an overall haul, its boring and pointless. I think it needs a graphical interface that happens either in real time (slow) or turn based. -Difficulty As it stand the game is too easy and doesn't require any tactics to complete, just click on the most effective most damage dealing options and once in a while maybe cast a healing spell or drink a potion. The PLOT - The overall structure seems to be very similar to pillars1 even with the major towns and factions, the eir glanfathans are replaced with the huana. Except this time were actually in the plot doing stuff ( unlike in pillars 1 where the backstory was more interesting that what you were doing) - Main story seems a bit short and theres basicly just one choice in the end you can effect. - Freedom of exploration seemed to not fit into this, since I ended up being in most of the places before I actually needed to go there. Maybe more locked doors for plot reasons. Most of the time I just wondered in some random place and did everything in there without actually knowing why im there in the first place, but not bothering to backtrack. - All the companion plots are very short and end abruptly ( especially aloth, was there like anything in there? did Pallegina have a quest at all?) * suggestion - when in doubt look about how companions in Dragon age origins and Mass effect were done. - Why cant you use your diplomacy or intimidation to at least sort out some kind of deal with the 4 powers? it feels a bit odd since you have been doing jobs for all of them and now you suddenly have to choose 1 while damning all the others. I mean heres my point, they have been living in Neketaka in relative peace, and profiting from each other, but UKAIZO drives them mad for golddd!!!. Shouldnt they be more bothered about dealing with the Eothas situation and maybe after that fighting over UKAIZO. - No choice to backstab the princinpi leader and become the pirate king yourself? , BOO! I was expecting to do this to Aldys but I guess not. - Your choices seem to matter very little. * Suggestion: well of all the things mentioned here the plot I think cant be fixed. Guess well have to wait for pillars3 For the future ( pillars3) I think the biggest problem with Pillars of Eternity is its game play system. To offer any difficulty it really needs to have level scaling mobs. which kills the feeling of a real living world ( why are these goblins lv20??, why wont these lv20 goblins just take over the world?? oh because then they'd face lv20 peasants with legendary pitchforks and torches) . The greatest problem with the system is that you gain power from leveling up which means low level mobs will never hit you. A similar problem in many tabletop games such as D&D 3.5/Pathfinder. You should really look into D&D 5e and into the lowered power from gear and leveling up. As and example a lv10 D&D 3.5 character could have +15 to 17 to hit and 25 to 30 AC while a D&D 5e char would have +7 to 9 to hit and AC 18 to 20. This means that a D&D 5e lv10 char would still find difficulty in level 1 monsters that have a +4-5 to hit and ac 13-15 in greater qualities. whilst in D&D3.5/Pathfinder a lv1 monster would have no chance except a nat 20 to hit the player. You have tried to encounter this problem with your Engagement system but the overall +3 per all defenses per level ruins the lower leveled monsters. ( im not saying 5e is the perfect system mind you, just that the lower level power ups benefit the overall believability of the world. Overall: well in the end of the day a PC game can never be perfect so I give deadfire in its current state a " Decent " rating. Ill give it another go at some point, after all Pillars 1 (at least game-play vice) is a totally different game in its currents state than it was at launch and will most likely give it another review. Thanks for all of your efforts and I hope the game gets another sequal. After reading this "review" I realized I had a lot more negatives to write but I did overall like the game. VA:s were great, most of the dialogue was great, and there were a few interesting fights.
  11. I was going to pick Rauatai, but they wanted me to kill the queen. So I said no thanks, and they attacked me. Which I expected to happen. So I beat the boss and ran to the place to tell the queen, and there was no dialogue about it. You'd think there would be? Is this a bug, or did obsidian not think about it?
  12. Hi, I have multiple crash after arriving to Neketaka for the first time, some of them are in the start of the cinematic, sometimes before start the dialogue with the guardians of the shipyards, sometimes when I end that dialog. So far the game was playing fine with medium graphics but in that part of the game I put the game in low and mute all sounds effects and the game still crash after the dialogue end. I don't know if my computer have low spect or is a issue in that zone. I'm playing in the beta patch and using a game importing a game from PoE1 Here is a link with the logs, dxdiag and last save of my game https://www.dropbox.com/s/6969ftb1mhqe5wk/Crash_in_Neketaka.zip?dl=0 Thanks for reading.
  13. First off, I know I have a problem. To those who might say "Just enjoy the game, don't stress over every detail". I wish I could but I have a compulsion to know all things & complete them for the best desired outcome. I've played PoE1 many times. I would like to do so again, but not before I know how my decisions from PoE1 will impact PoE2. Is there a comprehensive list somewhere that outlines every decision/action in PoE1 that impacts PoE2? From what I understand there are MANY actions in PoE1 that play out in PoE2. Some large, some small. I wish to leave no boulder unturned so that when I make decisions in PoE1 I will know what consequences & boons they will have in POE2. Please feel free to share what you have learned. If you are aware of a list that exists somewhere that lists this data, please share it for players interested in this data. Thanks for your time Edit: Mods please move this thread to deadfire character builds, strategies forum. Thank you
  14. First off, I know I have a problem. To those who might say "Just enjoy the game, don't stress over every detail". I wish I could but I have a compulsion to know all things & complete them for the best desired outcome. I've played PoE1 many times. I would like to do so again, but not before I know how my decisions from PoE1 will impact PoE2. Is there a comprehensive list somewhere that outlines every decision/action in PoE1 that impacts PoE2? From what I understand there are MANY actions in PoE1 that play out in PoE2. Some large, some small. I wish to leave no boulder unturned so that when I make decisions in PoE1 I will know what consequences & boons they will have in POE2. For example: In PoE1 during the parable of Wael quest, if you do not follow Wael's instructions Wael will steal your scrolls in PoE2 from what I have read. Please feel free to share what you have learned. If you are aware of a list that exists somewhere that lists this data, please share it for players interested in this data. Thanks for your time
  15. Alright, so I backed Pillars on Kickstarter, watched in joy as it was developed and run, enjoyed the dev commentary, appreciated the race and class previews, and I thought it all looked great. And I started playing and noticed few problems (aside from the bloody Kickstarter NPCs whom I ignored), but more and more built up as the game progressed. Finally, I came to a terrible conclusion as I attempted a second playthrough: This writing is dreadful. Not the dialogue, no, that's fine. Purple sometimes, but generally pretty good. What sucks is the epilogue and the player 'choices' made in-game, as well as the marginalization of classes in gameplay/story integration. For starters, I played a Monk. Yeah, I remembered Monks being lame in DnD, but I assumed that in Pillars, based on the previews, it'd be fun. And it was fun, until every encounter became slogging it out with broad-sword wielding thugs in plate or Elder High Mega Dragons, or Invisible Deathtouch Demons or what have you. Monks lack the durability, dodging power and damage to be fantastic PCs... but what annoyed me the most was the supposition that every class would have something interesting to contribute to the story. For example, if I were say, a follower of Eothas, I could go to the temple or talk to Edir or do all sorts of things and get a little snippet in relation to the plot at large or just giving more insight into the characters and the world around them. Priests, Paladins, Cyphers, Wizards, all of them get little extra options and such they can choose. Oh, except the Monk. The class that doesn't even get an NPC partymember. The only five Monks in the game outside of the waves of cannonfodder I carved through are one dying messenger who was mauled to death by a mountain lion, and his four brothers who waited patiently in a tavern while their companion was mauled to death by a mountain lion. Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more. SPOILER ALERT: If you don't talk to one ordinary looking man named "Frightened Man", the entire city of Gilded Vale is exterminated in the epilogue. Whoopsy. The village I went on a long, epic quest to save, defeating an entire castle of badasses over is now dead. Oh well. Sometimes a random NPC just spontaneously returns to life and invalidates all your work. If they'd wanted to live they'd have given a messenger five gold to actually deliver the message instead of relying on gossip, right? Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another. And then, then, after you bend over backwards and ensure that everything is perfect to make sure the Soul Arts get a fair trial? DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors. If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE! So you understand why I think the "Choice" system is overhyped and doesn't really matter. It's either "Do what the lead writer wants or 100% of the population dies" or it doesn't matter at all because Woedica Ninjas jump out of a closet and murder 100% of the population. Why would I want to play in this setting? Hell, why would I want to save the Dyrwood? Apparently EVERYONE is evil and stupid! So yeah. It's a game with POTENTIAL for a good series, but it has little to no replay value. ...Also I played it when it first came out so it was pretty dang buggy too, but honestly they weren't really that bad for me. If pressed for a rating I'd say Pillars was an above average game, but it could have been excellent with more writing and polish and... well, MORE in general.
  16. Yes! First! I claim this Game of Thrones thread as mine! Let's have a dead pool and bet on who will die this season!
  17. Hello, my name is Kiro and you may know me from such threads as "Let's play I'm charming and handsome, and you send me your phone number" and "Let's play I'm now in my thirties and I have it all figured out". Today I shall start a new Let's play New Vegas, because I'm chronic reroller and I thought this would be the only freaking way I could finish this game without starting again from the beginning half way through. "Ugh, what an ugly beard. What was I thinking" or "SCIFI game without specializing to lazors and ****? I was mad, mad I tell you!" For this playthrough I'm using mods which fix the issues I have with this game without changing it drastically. First for stability and bug fixes: New Vegas Anti Crash. New Vegas Stutter Remover. Mission Mojave - Ultimate Edition. With these three the game runs smooth as baby's bottom over Mojave sand, doesn't crash and cry like a baby with irritated butt cheeks, and will finish it's quests properly like something about potty training sandy cheeked baby... Yeah, fine, I know! I lost the joke midway! Just be glad I didn't start the thread all over. *cough* Secondly some visual upgrade mods: Interior Lighting Overhaul. FNV Realistic Wasteland Lighting. Since we are talking about visual upgrades I shan't make any references to baby bottoms since that would be improper and frankly below my high standards. Both mods make the game look better and atmospheric. Thirdly some miscellaneous/immersion mods: Mission Mojave - Ultimate Edition Plus. Truly a miscellaneous mod. New Vegas - Enhanced Camera. Look down and see your feet! Incrediable! The Couriers Cache. Adding bit of history to courier who had none. Karma Perks. Making karma matter before you hit the end slides. Unlimited Traits. Since they have a downside and an upside why limit them. Glowing Star Bottle Caps. I will get you this time Festus!!1 The playthrough itself will be in hardcore and very hard difficulty. If this sounds like your thing stick around. I will try to make daily updates of my progress. The greatest joke will still be me stopping half way through. I'm totally calling it.
  18. So I am a Cipher, and I went for the Cipher ending in the Quest line "Blood Legacy" and because I also knew that the Lord had forced sex on his niece to make her birth a child, I wanted to absolutely murder him. Now it says that I will get an "Extraordinary Dyrford Village Positive" for murdering him, but it doesn't mention the "Major Negative" to the Defiance Bay that you are greeted with in the next screen. The odd thing is, when I went to check how badly it effected my reputation, It had not dropped one bit. It remains "Hero". And because it was only a minor rep boost that barely put me over the last Reputation rank with them, I would think that I would be dropped a whole rank after this decision. Also I talked to a villager outside of the Inn and he and his group thought that the Murder was crossing the line, so I am a bit confused why they call me a hero. (The pictures may be 900KB to 1.2MB, But they are 'Too big to upload" So Here is an imgur link to them) http://imgur.com/idYVhcM&FoFdx5C&L3Clfua&LidjLYz I guess it's not as much a bug as a couple of overlooks in this dialog, but I wanted to point it out anyway.
  19. See that achievement there? I wanna get it. And in a month or two, I'm going to be livestreaming my attempt to get it. I'm already keeping notes on one playthrough I'm doing, trying to figure out my path through the game. It's tricky to figure out a game plan when you can only rest a certain number of times! So, anyone want to give me suggestions? Example: builds, paths to take, what quests to do vs what to ignore? Thoughts thus far: High Athletics will be useful, so I won't have to rest as much. Talking my way out of fights to save my party's Health will be useful. To that end, I may want to invest in high Resolve, since Resolve is used a lot in dialogue checks. GOLDROT CHEW. If I'm reading the tooltip for it correctly, it decreases your fatigue. Which means, it holds off that exhaustion debuff. Wound Binding and Field Triage will probably be a lot more useful than normal. Priests, Druids, and Wizards are going to be less useful than normal in early game, since they can't rest to refresh spells. Consumables that increase max Health will be valuable; I'll probably have to power through some adventuring with the Exhaustion debuff no matter how well I do. On the same note, gear that increases Constitution will also be valuable. If I want to change my party, I'm going to have to do it by recruiting some schmuck at the tavern and cheesing it that way. Going back to Caed Nua means travel time, and travel time means fatigue, and fatigue leads to Exhaustion. I may be able to complete sidequests that happen to be in my way. Every piece of exp is valuable when you're avoiding combat like the plague, but I won't be able to go out of my way to get that exp, because...of combat. I think it's possible to do this on Easy? Strongest candidates for my Watcher's class right now are Ranger (for pets, who don't run out of endurance) and Cipler (for ludicrous amounts of cc). Cilant Lis and Valewood, I can fart around in; if I manage my items and my lone Watcher well, I should be able to at least take out the bandit camp and rescue the cook. As long as I don't rest until I get to Gilded Vale, I'm good. HAVE to rest in Gilded Vale to advance the plot. Maybe try to nonviolently solve the Windmill quest before resting at the inn? Act 2, I should probably knock out Heritage Hill and the Sanitarium before even thinking about going for Cliaban Rilag. Probably don't want to side with Dozens, since one of their quests involves a dungeon crawl outside the Defiance Bay area. Probably not doing Hylea's appeasement quest, as that involves a journey to her temple. Berath's involves two big fights, one of which is outside of Twin Elms anyway, and Galawain's involves a dungeon crawl. Rymrgand's, however, can be completed with stealth and dialogue! And as for companion quests: Aloth: If I bring him along for the Temple of Woedica, he'll give me his quest, and I can then go immediately to the Sanitarium to complete it and advance the story. The problem is getting through the Catacombs to the Temple, AND the Sanitarium itself, without being able to refresh his spells. (He's going back to Caed Nua to watch paint dry after that, though.) Eder: Depends entirely on if I can get my hands on the records in the short, short time I will be in Defiance Bay. We can't threaten the records keeper, remember; we want to avoid fights! Once we get the records, though, the rest of the quest is conveniently located beside the main plot. Durance: His quest advances when you rest with him in your party. Which means his quest is dependent on something I want to avoid doing. Plus, his spells refresh on rest, so keeping him in the party will handicap me. Kana: Endless Paths? Ain't nobody got time for that. Sagani: Can be completed nonviolently, but her final quest marker is aaaaaaall the way in the Northweald--a location I will be avoiding entirely, since I won't be chilling with Hylea. Pallegina: The only problem will be getting her into my party. Once she's there, everything she needs to do is nonviolent and right in the path of the main questline. Hiravias: Everything he needs for his quest is conveniently located in Twin Elms and Burial Isle. As long as I can avoid a fight with the Dude at the end, I should be able to do this! The only problem is, his spells are once per rest...which may or may not be such a big issue so close to endgame. Definitely doing this if I hit level 9 and get per-encounter spells; otherwise it's the Aloth problem all over again, because once I'm on Burial Isle, there is no way I'm not going down that Pit. Grieving Mother: Her quest is dependent on resting while she's in the party, sadly. Might get some progress on it, at least; she's a cipher, so I see no reason not to keep her around. Zahua & Devil of Caroc: Hahahahahaha you actually think I'll have time to go to the White March. That's funny.
  20. I don't see any where to add just random things you come across in the game so decided to start one. I was relaxing and just clicking on various NPCs when I ran across Meredith in one of the inns in Defiance Bay. Not much of a conversation but I did a double take. To be continued.
  21. I think I sympathize with the creators' decision not to include an ending where your character achieves the power of the Engwithan entities (which, while not really Gods, are still pretty frickin' powerful in this setting). The game only goes to level 12, and they're setting it up for a sequel. Even if you are evil, you can't just usurp the soul power immediately for yourself. I think I've figured out a way to spice up the ending a bit, without ruining the continuity of the RPG experience. The reason I've been thinking so much about the setting is I've started using it with our Pathfinder group, and I've even ported a few races and classes (like Aumaua, Godlike, Cipher) to PF. Anyways, for those of you who completed the game, you'll remember the giant adra statue in the Endless Paths of Od Nua. Now we well know that adra conducts soul energy in this universe, and that the spirit world largely interacts with the physical world through this organic substance. So it's one of the biggest adra structures in the game, and is largely underground, which is believed to be the "realm of the gods." I'm thinking it could be used as an adra nexus, and one of the options for your character at the end after you kill Thaos and get control of the machine is (assuming you killed the adra dragon) to funnel the soul taken from the Hollowborn during Waidwen's Legacy and shunt them into the statue. Think about it: it's your own personal keep. What better place for a power-monger like my character to start his ascension to godhood? I played an evil wizard, and was kind of disappointed that the only evil things to do really were to release the souls to "entropy" or send them to Woedica. So yeah, it's definitely something to consider, and in a D&D-style campaign I'd really throw the doors open, and let the players be creative in what they'll do with the souls. By the time I reached Sun in Shadow, I hadn't really committed to any of the gods' demands, and could've done anything at the end. So yeah, really interesting stuff to think about, because then the campaign becomes about other Nexus of power, possibly deeper in the earth than even Od Nua. And if you get control over enough of them, maybe you attain the power to break the Cycle of the Wheel. Or if you're more of a do-gooder you could do what you think is right, like empowering Hylea or some other do-gooder god. One thing I like about this setting is the lack of alignment, so what actually constitutes good and evil is entirely subjective. So much creative potential. I'm gonna save my pennies for the next Eternity Kickstarter, if that's what they do!
  22. I'm playing a morally-ambiguous rogue, correcting wrongs where profitable and punishing douchebaggery where affordable. I've barely set foot inside Defiance Bay and there's already been a few cases where the more lucrative course of action was at odds with my own morals, but made the most sense in light of character. Some of it involved the deaths of NPCs that I didn't want to see dead (spoiler: like Moedred because I..uh..my character, wanted to loot his office) and the resulting inner conflict has only made the game more interesting. Anyone got stories like that? Does your character do the things you would, or do you do things your character would?
  23. First, let me start off and note that there is most likely going to be some spoilers mentioned as I write this. The reason I'm still posting it in General Discussion is because this is a very general topic, but if someone is feeling particularly stingy today, a mod can feel free to move this thread to Character Builds, Strategies & the Unity Engine, despite the thread likely having nothing to do with any of that. Second, before I start, I expect to get some flak on at least some of the points, or possibly because of the entire thread, because I'm overly critical, and maybe some accusations of me hating the game. Nothing could be further from the truth; Pillars of Eternity is an amazing game in many regards. Much of the art is second to none, the areas are absolutely beautiful, many of the apparent design goals are great, the open-ended approach to characters is amazing, the writing is largely superb, and many of the characters are some of the best I've experienced (I especially love Edér and Durance) and even those I did not expect to like at all are quite good (Kana Rua, Hiravias). It feels unfair to many of the developers that we often end up focusing on the issues, but it is the fact of life that we rarely take time to discuss that which has no problems. If this was a speech, this is where I'd ask for a round of applause before I continue. It is an amazing effort and despite questionable decisions, whether along the road or more recently, it bears repeating; Pillars of Eternity is an amazing game in many regards, and even those of us that insist on finding issues, examining them, pick them apart, beating the system with a wrench and suggest solutions are - by and large - looking forward to where all of this will take us in the future, whether in expansions or sequels. It's all still a little bit up in the air. Now, as for those issues, written mostly straight from memory, these are some of the clearest issues as I see them, and some thoughts related to them. The Attributes. By now, I think that most people have acknowledged that the Attributes are.. lopsided, to say the least. When the current set of Attribute modifiers were introduced in BBv435, they were a considerable departure from the previous set of modifiers. What is notable here is that before BBv435, damage calculations were extremely off, with the result being that Accuracy was far more valuable than it is now, leading to Perception, which gave +2 Accuracy, was the undisputed king of everything. BBv435 thus did a "double-whammy" in that when fixing that issue, Accuracy was (rightfully) devalued, but the Attribute modifiers were still changed considerably to deal with an issue that may not even have been as pronounced any more. Also, with BBv435, many beta testers pointed out some obvious issues, but were unable to truly test the setup, because BBv435 was also broken in that the Dexterity bonus, +3% Action Speed, worked in reverse (so lower Dexterity was better) and Interrupt calculations were broken (meaning you could put enemies into stunlocks by having high Perception. Despite this, it was said that this setup was supposedly feeling like "the most balanced yet", a statement that in hindsight should be taken with a bowl of salt. Despite the issues being pointed out by sheer theorycrafting alone, the Attributes did not change with BBv480, which was released very shortly before release, and then finally, the Attributes were still not changed on release. For references: Really Old Modifiers (Removed after BBv392): MGT: +3% Damage & Healing, +2 Fortitude. CON: +2% Endurance & Health, +2 Fortitude. DEX: +3% Action Spd, +2 Reflex. PER: +2 Accuracy, +5% Range, +2 Reflex. INT: +6% AoE, +2 Deflection, +2 Will. RES: +3% Concentration, +5% Duration, +2 Will. Current Modifiers (BBv435 to 1.03): MGT: ±3% Damage & Healing, ±2 Fortitude. CON: ±3 Endurance & Health, ±2 Fortitude. DEX: ±3% Action Speed, ±2 Reflex. PER: ±3 Interrupt, ±1 Deflection, ±2 Reflex. INT: ±6% Area of Effect, ±5% Duration, ±2 Will. RES: ±3 Concentration, ±1 Deflection, ±2 Will.This current setup favours heavy specialization, which I find somewhat infuriating. Min/maxing is greatly encouraged, not even by class like in the Infinity Engine games (which also had pronounced issues with this, but at least the min/maxing was different for each class) but by build itself - boiling it down to two, DPS and Tank. Tanks want PER/RES, while DPS wants DEX/MGT. This ties into somewhat with the issues of the armour system, with Dexterity being virtually useless for anyone in armour, because the DPS/Tank dichotomy carries over into that, but that's another point. INT is useful for almost everyone, and is a completely consolidated caster attribute, increasing both Duration% and Area of Effect% at the same time. CON is largely useless, because it adds much more for High-Endurance Classes than for Low-Endurance Classes. The Low-Endurance Classes are very unlikely to serve as tanks, and if they can be considered needing of an Endurance boost, they will actually receive very little, and certainly not to the point where it will make a real difference; if they get caught taking damage consistently, they will die consistently whether they have a relatively small +% boost or not. The opposite is true for High-Endurance Classes; if they are serving as tanks, they will be good or bad tanks based on factors far beyond their Endurance pool, and while they get more Endurance than a Low-Endurance Class, they also need the boost far less. So CON doesn't help those that need it, and it's not necessary for those that it could help. For ranged DPS, the situation is slightly worse, because they can even get away with dumping CON; not only are they likely to already have very low Endurance, meaning that they don't take as big of an impact as a High-Endurance class reducing their CON, but they are also out of harms way, meaning that they should never be consistently hit outside of fringe cases (Shadows, etc). The goal of the Attribute System as a whole is truly admirable. The goal that each of the Attributes should affect everyone equally, and be reasonably viable to some degree, allowing different builds to be different yet competative - a high-Perception Wizard being comparable to a high-Dexterity wizard, just with relatively different play-styles. But it falls woefully short of that mark. Furthermore, the modifiers are largely unintuitive. For example, all of the best barbarian builds all use Intellect, which I definitely think should be doable, but it should not be the default, intuitive assumption. Likewise, any Paladin that isn't specifically a tank should never taken Resolve, despite Resolve being what you'd expect to be a primary Attribute for Paladins. Gruff and violent fighters clad in heavy armour are not the first ones you think of when you think Perception and Resolve, yet it is exactly the thing you'd want. All casters will want Might as at least a secondary Attribute, and although it was conceptualized as a general Attribute signifying inner strength, it tends to revolve more around physical prowess in play, which is the opposite of every wizardly archetype ever. What is more worrysome is that Obsidian has already acknowledge this as an issue. In 1.03, the CNPC Attributes were overhauled, likely in the response to overwhelming commentary regarding the truly gimp Attribute Spreads that CNPC:s had. For example, Aloth had major scores in Intellect and Perception, the latter which is completely dead weight for him. The Attributes were moved around for most of the CNPC:s to give them objectively better Attributes. Instead of using the realization that the Attributes were bad for the CNPC:s to change the Attribute system, they instead acknowledged the issue and decided to change the CNPC:s to make them better, compromising the Attribute/Character Concept foundation that shaped those decisions to begin with. Pallegina, the literally bird-eyed Avianlike lost Perception for Resolve. Hiravias, the wood-born tough-as-nails had-eye-gouged-out-and-ear-ripped-off Wild Orlan lost two points of Constiution and Dexterity in favour of Intellect. Durance, the crazy old firebrand of a soldier that is burned and battered to the bone and hates hesitation or needless discussion lost Constitution and gained Intellect. Edér, the contemplative and clever ex-soldier that questions whether his god even exists, lost all his Intellect and instead gained Perception and Resolve. All of these changes were clearly specifically to make the CNPC:s better within the confines of an Attribute system that can only be described as broken, and it clearly acknowledges that Obsidian knows this, or the change wouldn't even have been considered necessary. Doubly so since it clearly compromises who these characters are supposed to be on a personal level. Instead of doing that, the Attribute Modifiers need to be changed. And while doing so, the characters' Attribute-Concept consistencies restored. Now, I am by no means an expert, but as many know, this has been one of my biggest pet-peeves since BBv435, and I've tried to repeatedly suggest an alternate set. Whether it is perfect or not is extremely debatable - I certainly think it isn't, myself - but it is certainly better. Suggested Modifiers: MGT: ±3% Damage & Healing, ±2 Interrupt, ±2 Fortitude. CON: ±1 Endurance, ±3% Endurance, ±2% Armour Recovery Penalty, ±2 Concentration, ±2 Fortitude. DEX: +3% Action Speed, +2 Deflection +2 Reflex. PER: +1 Accuracy, +4 Interrupt, +2 Reflex. INT: +6% Duration, +2 Deflection, +2 Will. RES: +6% AoE, +6 Concentration, +2 Will.This has several advantages to the current system. There would be a greater synergy between some of the Attributes, for focused builds, such as an interrupter (Interrupt) that hits hard (MGT) and precise (PER) with every blow, the intelligent (INT) and nimble (DEX) warrior playing on his defensive strengths (Deflection), or a focused (RES) and athletic (CON) man that pushes through no matter how hard he's hit (Concentration. Intellect would no longer be a consolidated caster attribute and a one-stop-shop for spell/ability modifiers, and Intellect would be an option for the intelligent defensive warrior. Resolve reaffirms it's position as the Attribute that represents a character's power (or wish) to influence the world and not be influenced by it, affecting a character's ability to direct his soul or the powers associated with it. Constitution is no longer largely meaningless, and slightly less of a dump stat. A small but significant boost, but mostly conceptually. Assuming a Constitution of 20 ("fully maxed") the flat modifier to Health & Endurance is equal to over one extra level's worth for Wizards (10/level) but not nearly as much for Barbarians (16/level). Furthermore, given that Endurance by itself is of questionable value, it also affects the effects of wearing armour, reducing the Armour Recovery Penalty by percentage. For example, let's say a base Plate Armour has a penalty of -50%, with a fully pumped, 20 Constitution (10*3%) it would be reduced by 20%, to -35%. These changes makes Constitution more desirable to both low-Endurance characters with little armour and tanks that do not need the endurance but are woefully gimped by their superheavy armour. Do note that the examples given are extremes. It might not even be a bad idea to scrap the percentage modifier to Endurance completely, although I'm hesitant to suggest it myself. Perception may appear overvalued again, but do note that the bonus to Interrupt have been cut in half. Accuracy is not nearly as valuable anymore, and even if you fully min/max to get Perception, it still only provides a maximum of +10 Accuracy. The fact that this is a blanket bonus makes Perception a good choice for casters, but would still be a choice made at the expense of not taking other Attributes that are now of equal or greater worth. The Lack of Individual Stealth & No Stealthing in Combat. This is a big one to me. In the game, everyone Stealths or no-one Stealths, by going into "Scouting Mode". Once combat starts, Stealth is broken for everyone at the same time, regardless of individual Stealth skill, Class, Abilities, Attributes or Talents. Nothing matters; Combat is flagged, everyone is bumped out, no ifs, buts or maybes. This completely neuters the idea of tactical deployment of troops. You can't sneak around the enemy and tie them up with your main group and then run in and surprise them with a string of backstabs. You can't Disengage, run away, and then come back from around a corner somewhere else, and surprise the enemy. You can't keep your rogue in the shadows and then wait until they move past you, and then attack. And forget about lining up a backstab to initiate combat - if you do, you will be immediately Engaged, and because of the Engagement system and the targeting AI, utterly destroyed by the enemy before you can even think of getting your tank in there. The way you could backstab someone and then run away in the IE games simply isn't viable in PoE because of Engagement. You want to hold off and attack at an opportune time, but with the current Scouting Mode, you can't. Interestingly, it seems that in some way - although I may be wrong how this works under the hood of the engine - this restriction doesn't apply to enemies. I've seen phantoms or shadows show up en masse only after an encounter have begun. This is likely done in-engine by means of some invisibility effect, rather than "real" Stealth, or maybe they are simply summoned, and didn't exist before the fact. Maybe it's a bug. But never once have I seen this happen to me like it sometimes happened in the Infinity Engine games, with stealthed rogues showing up behind my lines - aside from the aforementioned phantoms/shadows that can teleport all over the place, which is not what I'm talking about. Characters need to be able to stealth individually and engage individually, based on their own skills, so that they can be held back or deployed when prudent. I would be fine if it became progressively harder to Stealth as a battle goes on, to represent the enemy looking for you or being alert, and I think that characters definitely should have directional detection (something I do not think is in the game right now at all) and if everyone else is dead, turn around in the area for a while to try to find "the one that got away"; or things to that effect. But the whole "all or nothing"-idea of Stealth needs to go. Combat shouldn't automatically break Stealth, and characters should be measured by their skill individually, and choosing when to do what should be a tactical or strategic decision. Experience is ubiquitous & inconsistent. Experience is currently so broken it's not even funny. The game is capped at level 12, something I think is perfectly fine - I honestly would probably have preferred an even lower level cap, but done is done, and level 12 is fine. What isn't fine, however, is that you basically skyrocket through the levels. There are many people that have reached the level cap of 12 before even reaching Twin Elms. Experience is awarded right, left and centre. I get the feeling that Obsidian never really understood the fundamental argument in favour of Goal-Oriented Experience. The reason people wanted Goal-Oriented Experience was because it would give the developers the freedom to build encounters and situations that can be solved in a range of ways that rewarded the player independent of solution. Deus Ex is a great example of how this was done, and should be compulsory playing for any games developer. Yet we still have Lockpicking Experience, which makes it more beneficial to actually lockpick doors than to find the key. We have Trap-Disarm Experience, which means that you'll never want to solve traps in any other way than to manually disarm all of them. The traps in the prologue temple? Yep, I went back there; it was a ton of experience, just sitting there on the floor, why would I possibly pass those by? And we still.. actually.. have murder-experience. We call it Bestiary Experience, but it's practically the same thing, with the exception that it's capped, which doesn't actually mean anything, because as far as I know, no enemies respawn anyway, so you'd be limited in the amount of experience either way. The question is why. It is as if Obsidian never saw the argument, only that a lot of people didn't want Murderhobo Experience "for some reason", and decided to implemented based on argumentum ad populum alone. And then they started to compromise, leaving the basis of the original argument altogether. As a side note, bounties have insane experience doleouts. They're optional content, but in my opinion, if you want to reach the level cap, you should have to do almost all optional content. Even a single bounty can reward upwards 11k of experience, completely throwing off any general indication of experience values or measurements. At this point, I honestly think that the reason for not having Murderhobo Experience in the game is completely gone, because the original argument simply isn't applicable to the actual state of the game anymore. This is not to say that I support adding Murderhobo Experience back in. Quite the opposite. Getting experience from Lockpicking, Trap Disarming and killing enemies needs to be removed. Experience should be rewarded for finding secrets, solving problems, being inventive, doing the unexpected, and finishing quests. And to reconnect to the original issue of experience being ubiquitous, the experience needed for each subsequent level needs to be increased, my proposal being by 3-5% per additional level, starting at level 1. This would mean that at lower levels, the difference will be very small, but rise exponentially at higher levels, hopefully resulting in more difficulty to actually cap out, as well as slowing level-up pacing as characters increase in level. It should be really hard to reach the level cap in the base game. Right now you take a casual stroll down the peripheries of the main questline and you drown in experience, doled out at every turn and promoting contrived, degenerate, gameplay. Murderhoboing for fun and profit / Inventory & Stash Issues. This very much ties into the previous issue. Because PoE has a lot of mechanics in how the inventory and game economy works, and it has some far-reaching implications. There is no Encumbrance, there is an Infinite Stash that can be accessed from anywhere, merchants have infinite gold, and every enemy drops something that is either gold by any other name, or of incalculable value due to enchanting. By themselves, each of these mechanics are not necessarily bad. But taken together, the result is... less than stellar. First of all, it promotes the aforementioned Murderhoboing, whether it awards experience or not. In many other games, the Infinity Engine games included, the acquisition of resources are restricted - if not directly, then at least by means of "hassle". Yes, I could loot all those individual soldiers in the Oasis in Throne of Bhaal, but why would I go through that hassle? Yes, I could throw every last piece of equipment into my Bag of Holding, but why would it be worth my time? These are hassles, but those hassles by themselves are enough to discourage the situation. The situation being that I will never pass on loot. Never ever. Why would I? I have a Area-Loot Mechanic that saves me from the hassle of even having to individually click the corpses, and I have an infinite stash that can carry all of it, and I don't have to worry about how much I can carry, because there is no encumbrance, and I have merchants with an infinite amount of gold that will happily buy all of it at once. And every last opponent contributes to this. If they don't contribute to my wealth directly, they give me Enchanting supplies. Even without experience rewards, why would I pass on enemies, ever, under those circumstances? I won't, obviously, why would I, that's just crazy-talk. All of this taken together undermines the previous point of avoiding Murderhobo Experience and removes the choices as to what you will take with you, what is worth your time, and how you choose to approach the game. Some can argue that they don't want the "hassle" of X, Y or Z, and that such things interfere with the "gameplay", but I would argue that such things add to the gameplay by being reasonable choices you would have to make, and incentivizes finding alternate solutions to approaches, because you don't *want* to be saddled with carting off someone's armour and pawn off their sword at the merchant. This is not a cry for simulationism, but a real issue of choice and incentives. With the current setup, we might as well convert non-essential loot to gold on the spot and auto-pickup everything, with a little clink-clink wound and a floating "+5 gold" over the heads of killed opponents. It would mechanically serve the same purpose. Exactly how restrictive vs. hassle-free things should be is entirely debatable, but I would personally not be opposed to restricting the Stash to merchants, Inns and the Stronghold, adding Encumbrance, and adding gold caps to the vendors. But I realize that some of that may be overboard - but something needs to be done and the situation reconsidered. Because the current system incentivizes the exact form of gameplay that Murderhobo Experience does, and turns virtually all loot straight into gold coins, with no trade-offs whatsoever, and every non-humanoid is a loot-pinata of bodyparts for the mortar and pestle of enchanting. "Combat Only" needs to die in a fire. This is related to the entire conversation on pre-buffing, but I actually consider the issue largely separate. "Combat Only" feels utterly contrived and out of place, like an artificial limiter that jerks me out of the gameplay, and it is entirely inconsistent. For example, the Zealous Charge aura of the Paladin is "Combat Only". But Zealous Focus aura isn't. Why? There are plenty of examples of this throughout the game and the various classes. One of the earlier explanations we have been given on this issue was that Sawyer focused on eliminating things that felt like really repetative actions that didn't necessarily make the game more fun. Reading that comment, it somewhat stands out as largely being.. non-applicable to the state of PoE. The "opportunity cost" is already built into the game. Using any spell costs you a valuable and finite amount of time (the very short duration of the spell), effort (the fact that you are expending time to do this is in itself a limiter, you may simply not think it's worth your time, most of the time) and multiple limited resources (the limited number of spells themselves, as well as the camping supplies that will need to be expended to keep excessive spellcasting up). That's the costs. Time, effort and resources. He also mentions tactical decisions and choices. However, any choice you make before the start of a battle could be just as strategically important as any made during the course of a battle. By expending your limited resources beforehand, you are unable to change it later, which to me is the very definition of a meaningful choice - the choice of how to approach a given scenario. Combat in PoE is already largely free of reactivity, and depend on pre-encounter positioning and the general approach to combat. The "Combat Only" state leads to contrived situations where the player has to almost literally fight the system in order to do things anyone would consider reasonable. Not only does the presented argument fall rather flat in practice, but one also have to ask oneself if that even if it would have some very limited merit to it, would that small amount of merit warrant such a hard cap on doing what anyone would consider rather reasonable? Would it warrant the limitation of choice on part of the player, his choice on how to approach combat, because "Pre-Buffing is boring"? It just makes me think of badwrongfun-logic. There are many ways I would consider boring ways to play the game, yet I would not restrict those ways to play the game based on my own idea of how to play it "right". And add to that the point that largely, "arguments" in favour of the "Combat Only" restrictions are based on how specifically buffing worked in the Infinity Engine games, suggesting that there is a strong dichotomy between "Long-term no-brained buffs with no tradeoffs" and "No pre-buffing whatsoever achtung", whilst nothing could be further from the truth. Buffs in PoE already have reasonable limiters on them, not just in regards to effort (which is minor) and resources, but primarily in time. The vast majority of buffs in PoE does not even last longer than 60 seconds, even if you min/max your caster into high Intellect. The idea of standing several minutes and have several casters juggle several buffs around is completely alien, even if we disregard the fact that it would be a reasonable decision on part of the player to make if this was not true. And even if they would be able to buff themselves, these short durations would mean that the buffs would disappear before the battle is over, and that every second spent before initiating confrontation would essentially be "wasted" from a buffing perspective - in a game where positioning is so important, to boot. I often spend more time working out positioning in PoE, and getting the initiation of an encounter right, than I ever spent on pre-buffing in the IE games, save large, important encounters, where, indeed, pre-buffing was a boring, tedious process - but that is again beside the point, because there are other, reasonable, clear limitations that possible to have in play before you go to such draconian lengths as to completely restrict the usage of abilities, spells and powers outside of combat. The second, latter argument we have seen, was that the balance reasons are minor compared to the save issues. That the game has had troubles restoring saves because buffs were not retained properly. In the context of the finished game, this must be considered poppy****. This may have been true at some point, and I do not think that Brennecke is lying, and it may not even be that long ago that it could have been true, but there are many, many different forms of buffs in the game, and there have been no major trouble with saves and loads with them that I know of. Food items are technically buffs. They have no issues in this regard. Resting bonuses are technically buffs, they have no issues in this regard. Paladin auras are technically buffs, yet Zealous Focus is not restricted, but Zealous Charge is; is that because Zealous Focus works fine with saves and loads, but Zealous Charge is somehow broken? I find that very, very hard to believe. Instead of moving away from this restriction, we've seen them adding it to previously free abilities that, again, had no issue with saving or loading. The only possible issue with it's removal would arguably be related to the Per-Encounter Spellcasting of high-level Casters, but that is a separate point, because that needs to be addressed too, if they intend to keep using this system and iterate on it. There is a treasure trove of problems with the "Combat Only" restriction on abilities, and the entire mechanic needs to die in a fire; be punted off the cliffs of Mt. Doom and subjected to orbital bombardment. Not only would it's removal be largely beneficial to the game, and promote strategic and tactical gameplay, but the original issues for which it was implemented are not even present. The Armour System is missing the mark completely. This is a hairy one. The fundamentals of the armour system is good. Really good. The idea has concrete merits and is fundamentally good, in my opinion. The fact that armour scales "naturally", has different values vs. different forms of damage, and applies equally to all characters independent of class and so on is really, really good. But it completely misses the mark. In fact, all it does is reinforce - although I would say truly cement - the Tank vs. DPS dichotomy that was mentioned earlier. This is a problem Attributes already contributes to, but it is the current Armour system that really cements it, aided in party by the Engagement system. If you have any idea what you are doing in the game, there is no point in wearing anything between Cloth (No Armour) and Full Plate (Heavy Armour). Common criticism levied against the D&D system in the Infinity Engine games was that "you always wear the highest and that's it". Which was a fair point. But at least the highest armour you used depended on your class, in fact, you were restricted to do so. But in Pillars of Eternity, everyone, no matter what class, will invariably be best off wearing either no armour, or heavy armour. It has largely replaced one "no-brainer" choice with two "no-brainer" choices, not based on class, but on the two different builds possible. Why is that? Well, first of all, tanking is a very strong role in PoE, that you will likely commit to entirely or not at all, because of how the combat resolution system works (you want High Deflection, or it will not really matter if you have a little) and how divided the Attribute system is between the two roles. There is not really such a thing as a middle road. And added to that is the Engagement system and the combat AI, which when all is taken together means that the Tank will soak up damage (or rather, avoid taking damage at all), while the others are unlikely to take any damage. In fact, if they know what they're doing, they'll take no damage at all, or at least not take damage consistently. All armour comes with a penalty to Recovery Speed. This means that even wearing Robes (which do not count as Cloth, for some indecipherable reason) comes at a -15% Recovery Speed Penalty. This reduces the speed at which a non-Tank can do damage, and killing opponents is the most efficient way to not take damage; when an opponent has been killed, they will no longer deal any damage, obviously. And since non-Tank characters will not be tanking or taking damage consistently, any reduction of killing speed is increasing the time it takes to end the encounter and make the nasty people stop hurting your tank (or the rest of your people, even if at a severely limited rate compared to the Tank). But then, someone says, what about the various modifiers? The Damage Resistance of all armour is not equal! Fair point. The issue is that it doesn't matter. While for example Mail armour has higher Slash DT than Crush DT (Mail is DT 9, but has 14 DT vs. Slash and 5 DT vs. Crush) it is not nearly enough to matter. No-one is going to change their armour when facing a certain enemy, as long as the difference is not enough to warrant it, nevermind the fact that most people are unlikely to even want to juggle their armours around. This ties into the issue of weapons simply not having a large enough of an impact, and although you will do less damage with a Sabre against an enemy dressed in Mail, you will still be doing "close enough" for it to not matter enough to actually have a Warhammer on hand. There is no accounting for personal preference. You might want to wear Mail simply because you like how it looks. That's fine. But that's completely beside the point, and hardly an argument in favour of the armours being balanced. If the best arguments you can come up with are "I can still finish the game" or "I still use it because I like how it look", you're not only understanding the issue, but also have basically conceded that there's a problem, it's just that you chose not to care about it. And that's alright. You can choose not to care. But then why get involved at all? You'd do that whether the armour system was rebalanced or not anyway, and the issue being solved would likely do nothing to dissuade you from playing that way anyway. Either way, my suggestions are the following: First of all, all the effects of armours should be "upped", so there'd be more meaningful and clear differentiation between them, instead of just No/Robe/Light/Medium/Heavy armour (as it is now, despite the obvious attempt to get away from it). This could be done by drastically upping the effects of armours vs. different weapons. As an interesting side-effect, this would also mean that there'd be a meaningful differentiation between the various weapons used against humanoid opponents, and you'd probably want to switch weapons more often. Second, I'd like to see Talents to support the use of various armours, with interesting effects, to discourage the constant swapping of armours between that the previous addition might encourage, and encourage specialization on a per-character basis. This would mean that it wouldn't be a bust to use Medium Armours, if, for example, a medium armour filled that niche that was good against crushing weapons, and had a talent that made you move faster, and Plate Mail would be good against Slashing, with a Talent that turns a percentage of incoming Hits into Grazes. The benefit of these two is that the game is already structured largely in this manner; the dial just need to be turned up to 11 to make it matter. Thirdly, I maintain that the game has a rather simplistic system (albeit needlessly obtuse) and could stand to have more modifiers in terms of defences. I think it was a mistake to remove the percentage-based Damage Resistance system (for those that did not know, during much of the Backer Beta, Armour had both Damage Resistance (%) and Damage Threshold (Integer-based Soak; this is what we have now) modifiers), and should play up the penalties (or bonuses) of armours, whether it's reducing Reflex Defence or even adding Deflection with on heavier armour, or introducing a Dodge mechanic to complement Deflection. I still find it odd as hell that a Monk Tank will be running around in Full Plate, focusing on Deflection and Damage Resistance, rather than being all about the Dodging. But either way, the most important is point 1 and 2; the third point may not even be necessary at that point, and would no doubt take a lot more to introduce, even if it would be preferable. The Stronghold / Resting. The Stronghold is really cool. It is. But.. there's just.. something lacking. Yes, part of this will be about "muh immurshun". I cannot wrap my head around how the Stronghold is supposed to work. I can accept a great many things that aren't painted on my nose, chalk it up to things the party did while travelling, or laughing around the campfire, and such things. But the Stronghold feels... empty. The Steward is an odd creature, and it is never settled how that's even supposed to work. Is she tuned into some form of adra-based internet and is running the longest con through a network of contacts and repeat identity thefts? I have no idea. You keep building, but there are never any workers, days pass, and the place is empty, there was supposedly a drunk visiting, but he's nowhere to be seen, and Kana Rua was escorting him off the premises but.. it takes days, what the hell, can't I just throw him in the dungeon or lop his head off? Hell, throw him off the Eastern Barbican. Speaking of which, is repaired instantly, and for free. Which was really the first clue I had that this would probably be pretty shallow. Still, I love the idea of the Stronghold, and as you repair it, it starts to feel more and more like yours, and it's noticeable that a great deal of effort has gone into it. But at the end of the day, despite me liking it, it feels soulless and devoid of emotion, reactive like a sack of rocks. I built the Dungeon, a warden shows up out of nowhere that treats me with due respect. How did he even get hired? Have we met before? What? Finally, resting at the Stronghold. My great Caed Nua, my sweet Brighthollow, why do you treat me so? A loading screen to get to Caed Nua, a loading screen to get into Brighthollow, a third one to get to the second floor, sleep, and then repeat the process in the other direction - more if you were just popping in before continuing down the Endless Paths. Just. No. This ties into both the issues of the Stronghold often not making sense and feeling devoid of life; why are there no people working in the kitchen for me? Why isn't there a caretaker at Brighthollow? Honestly, just skipping that one loading screen to get to the second floor would be a game changer, if I could talk to the caretaker and take a nap. Someone else suggested simply having a "resting button" while you are in the courtyard of Caed Nua, in the Keep, or inside of Brighthollow. I think that's a great idea, even if it does nothing to alleviate the other issues, it would go a long way to make it worth to actually use Brighthollow to sleep, giving you a sense of "home". There's a lack of CNPC:s. Oh yes. I'm covering this too. First of all, let's get this straight: The CNPC:s in the game are amazing. At least most of them. Edér is magnificent. Durance is nothing short of amazing. Grieving Mother is crazy. Hiravias is hilarious and Kana Rua isn't nearly as annoying as I thought his melon-swigging face led me to believe he would be. But it very much has the "gotta catch them all"-syndrome of post-IE Bioware games. An issue that actually started somewhat already in BG2, but at least BG2 didn't seem to operate under the assumption that you'd collect all of them and take them with you like a travelling adventurer troupe of which only 6 people go to town for.. reasons. There's a valid argument in here somewhere about the quality vs. quantity of CNPC:s. Less CNPC:s but with more depth. This is a fair point. But quantity has a quality all of it's own. It is impossible to have anything even resembling themed parties in Pillars of Eternity. You can't be a group of marauders, or a troupe of clever opportunists, or a party of humans only, or a group of people centred around arcane studies. This is just examples, of course, but something as simple as having more than one of the same class is practically out of the question, because the CNPC:s that are in the game right now do not even cover all of the classes that are available. This is not to say that I want some principal "checklist"; quite far from it, I want interesting characters rather than someone that is specifically a Monk, just to compensate for the fact that there's currently no monk. But at the same time, I loved playing BG1 as a Bard, picking up Eldoth and Garrick, for the hilarity of it. Or play as an elf with Kivan, Xan, Viconia and Coran. Or BG2 as a noble-esque party of a Charname Paladin, Anomen, Keldorn, Edwin, Nalia and Imoen. Because lol poor people. Pillars of Eternity has an abysmal 8 CNPC:s, for a party of 6. Accounting for the player, that's less than one full different party's worth of CNPC:s for subsequent playthroughs. Don't get me wrong, I think "muh replayability" is potentially as bad of an argument as the aforementioned "muh immurshun", but it bears mentioning to put it in perspective. Meanwhile, BG2 has 17, more than twice as many, and I still wouldn't consider that nearly enough. But it would still be infinitely better. Even a single, well-integrated, seamlessly introduced CNPC would be a tremendous improvement, but nothing short of approaching 26-ish would come near satisfying the needs. Scaling CNPC:s / Availability. Another CNPC issue. Why the hell does CNPC:s scale? I would be fine with CNPC:s being set to join at level 2, and I believe level 2 would be a good number for the CNPC:s to be properly "fleshed out". But they absolutely shouldn't scale. Why? Because it makes me rush to get them. It makes me wish I could simply spawn them in the second I reach Gilded Vale, only so that they won't be "ruined" beforehand. The fact that I will go through missions that they may have commentary on is enough of a problem; don't make me also fight the game systems themselves. I would really, really, really prefer it if they were stuck at level 2 and then allowed me to level them up once I get them. I'm even willing to accept them not having an equal amount of experience to myself, especially with the very liberal sprinkling of experience throughout the game. Which brings me to another issue; availability. All of the CNPC:s can be had before Act 2 starts... except Pallegina. All of the CNPC:s can be had without going through a side-quest... except Pallegina. I also have the feeling that this ties into the fact that Pallegina is also the only CNPC that cannot be replicated in any way, being an Avianlike Paladin of an Order Paladins cannot even pick. Why is Pallegina not following the format of the other CNPC:s? It almost feels like she's one of those cheesy CNPC:s added by a mod, out of place, and I'm surprised she doesn't have an inordinate amount of dialogue (or, going by how ME2 introduced DLC/Mod-like CNPC:s, any dialogue at all). It feels contrived and inconsistent, from her placement to her introduction, compared to all other CNPC:s currently available. Weapon Focus Groups are.. eh.. Weapon Focus Groups was a good idea. A really good idea. I love the concept. You get a range of weapons that is thematically appropriate, instead of having to specialize in a single weapon that you may or may never get. Kudos. At the same time, though... I think that the balancing went too far. Not only because it meant placing some weapons in groups where it doesn't feel like it belongs, but also because it means you'll really never pick more than one specific Weapon Focus Group, there'd simply be no merit to doing so; each group seems to have been consciously molded as to cover all weapon damage types, whether it makes sense or not. My proposal would be to allow Weapon Focus Groups to break the mould. For example, one thing I feel strongly for would be to switch Stiletto from Ruffian to Noble, and Dagger from Noble to Ruffian. This would leave Noble without a Slashing Type and Ruffian without a Slashing Type. So what? Work with what you have, there are other options, or train further. Perfect balance is a lie, and thinking that the Weapon Focus Groups being so strictly and rigidly broken into weapons of each type on principle will somehow balance the weapons themselves against eachother is a delusion. I say that it is better to aim for specialization, and have Talents that allow you to specialize, while also being more thematically fitting. There is no doubt more examples, but that one is enough for the point. Also, with the aforementioned in mind, I want to see more Weapon Focus Groups. Groups should not stack with eachother, obviously, but it would be nice to have a group that includes all of the firearms, if you want to make a character centred around the use of firearms, rather than having a wide spread of usable weapons. For example: Grenadier; Spear, Pike, Pistol, Blunderbuss, Arquebus. Mystic; Dagger, Stiletto, Scepter, Rod, Wand. Like I said, these shouldn't stack with other Weapon Focus Groups that already have the same type of weapons. So if you have Grenadier and Ruffian, you still only get +6 to Pistol. An interesting choice is better than a "balanced" choice. If the priority is to have a balanced setup so you can change between the weapon types, there are still groups for that; it does not make the specialized or more thematically focused groups any less valid of an option. I miss the Sabre DoT. I just do. I realize why it was changed, and the stacking mechanics can be hard to work out, and balancing it even harder, but changing the DoT effect into a flat +Damage was a really boring move. I liked the idea of cutting up large gashing wounds and stack DoT:s on my enemies with sabres. As has been mentioned before the game also simply does not do enough to encourage the usage of different damage types, making the flat +Damage a "no-brainer" choice from a min/max perspective. The extra flat damage is enough to punch through most (or much) of the DT you'd avoid by using a more "appropriate" weapon anyway. The DoT effect was at least interesting and unique. Now it feels like Sabres are just.. something something plus. Scouting Mode and Mechanics. Detecting Secrets. Mechanics. These two terms should have nothing to do with eachother. In Pillars of Eternity, though, Mechanics is used for both the detection of Secrets and for the Detection of Traps, as well as the disarming of Traps, and Lockpicking, and the setting of traps. Mechanics as the basis for detecting secrets make no sense whatsoever. And since we're on this topic, let's discuss the Scouting Mode as necessary for detecting secrets. As has been pointed out many times on the board by now, this has lead to the situation where the norm to many is to simply enter Scout Mode everywhere and activate Fast Mode to alleviate the painfully slow movement. To detect secrets, you need to have high Mechanics, and Scout everywhere. Some would argue that you don't need to find all secrets. Fair point, but it is akin to the argument that you don't need to do all quests, either, and you don't need to loot all boxes, and you don't need to talk to all named NPC:s, and you don't need to recruit all CNPC:s. But we know you will, anyway, because that's more or less the name of the game. Skulking about in Fast Mode everywhere not only breaks immersion, but is almost textbook degenerate gameplay and about as nofun as possible, yet it seems like it's exactly what the game was built for, in some ways. My suggestions are simple. Mechanics should not be used to detect Secrets, Stealth should be the governing Skill, aided to a small degree by the Perception Attribute, and all Secrets should be detectable outside of Scouting Mode. Detecting Traps should still only be possible while in Scout Mode, and their detection should be possible with either Mechanics or Stealth (whichever is highest). The disarming of traps should still be Mechanics, obviously. The Per-Encounter Spell System of High-Level casters needs to be re-evaluated. This ties into the aforementioned "Combat Only" issues, because the issues of the Per-Encounter Spell System that High-Level casters gain could arguably be exacerbated by the removal of the "Combat Only" flags. That is not the main issue, however. The issue is that if this system is intended to scale towards higher levels as the game expands, let alone the franchise with sequels and so on, the current system of Per-Rest Spells being turned into Per-Encounter Spells once Spellcasters reach a high enough level will completely wreck any semblance of balance whatsoever. Currently, the issue is rather benign, at least if we consider the future: At Level 9, a spellcaster can use his Rank 1 Spells 4 times Per Encounter, instead of Per Rest. At level 11, he can use his Rank 2 Spells 4 times Per Encounter, instead of Per Rest. That's where it stops, because the game has a Level Cap of 12. This is still tremendously powerful. Also consider that if you have the "Bonus #th Level Spell" Talent, that also gets turned into a Per Encounter, for a maximum of 5 Per Encounter Spells Per Spell Rank. That is utterly crazy. Consider all other classes that get "regular" abilities that are Per-Encounter Say, Paladins, who get 2 uses of Flames of Devotion or 1 use of Lay on Hands Per Encounter. Yes, he can get more Abilities as he rises in level, one here, one there, some Per Rest, some Per Encounter, some completely Passive. A Wizard gets to pick 4 1st-rank spells at Level 9 that he gets a minimum of 4 uses of Per Encounter. At level 11, he gets another 4 2nd-rank spells that he can use a minimum of 4 times Per Encounter. Conceivably, conceptually, he should be getting 3rd-rank spells 4 times per encounter at level 13. That is an unprecedented and incomparable jump in power and utility compared to anyone else that is not a caster, and utterly terrifying to even fathom from a balance perspective. And that's still just Wizards - the gimp of the spellcasters, who only can pick 4 spells at a time to enter into his Grimoire. Priests? They get their full 1st-rank of spells to use, 4 times per Encounter, at level 9; it's the same progression. The same goes for Druids. Suck on that for a while. The entire Druid rank 1 spellbook, pick anything in it, 4 times Per Encounter. I'm not sure how this should be balanced. I do think that high-level casters should be able to use a limited number of spells as Per-Encounter abilities at high levels, but the current implementation is completely untenable in the long run, nevermind the issues that could arise if you remove the "Combat Only" flag (since spells would no longer be a limited resource outside of combat; Per Encounter Abilities regenerate instantly if there is no combat going on). And you'd be equally crazy to not remove the Combat Only restrictions in the long run. My basic suggestion would be to allow the Spellcasters to choose one spell at these brackets and that they get that one spell as a Per-Encounter Ability. At level 9, they get a slot that can be filled with a 1st-rank Spell, that can then be used as a Per-Encounter Ability. At level 11, they get another slot that can be filled with a 1st- or 2nd-rank spell, that will from then on be used as a Per-Encounter Ability. And so on. But I'm not sure that's enough. But it desperately needs to be looked over; if not as a necessary precursor to getting rid of the "Combat Only" flags, then for the sanity of players and balance once we start climbing in level. There are two expansions planned, and anyone that thinks that each of them won't increase the level cap by at least 1-2 levels is delusional, which could make the cap anywhere from 14 to 16; potentially unlocking two whole new levels of unmitigated, overpowered and absolute crazy for spellcasters. The +AoE added from Attribute Bonuses (currently Intellect) needs to be fixed. Currently, the +AoE added from Attribute Bonuses does not take the "friendly" area of Friendly-Fire AoE:s into account, which makes Intellect even crazier for spellcasters than it deserves to be, and even if the Attributes are reworked to something more sensible (such as +AoE on Resolve) it would just move the issue around. It really needs to be fixed, so that +AoE actually increases the risk as well as the reward. If the AoE radius is bigger, it should be harder to aim it, simply because it's.. well.. bigger. Maxing +AoE currently gives you an inordinate amount of mobility when it comes to the placement of AoE:s with no tradeoff whatsoever. I realize not everyone likes Friendly Fire, but I consider it an integral part of tactical gameplay, and I would have opposed the "Friendly" zone of AoE:s to begin with, had I been here for those discussions, but it is what it is. Either fix the +AoE issue with the friendly zone, or remove the friendly zone entirely. Alright, I guess that's it for now. I probably have more things that I can't think of right now - Critique of the the Engagement System, the Recovery Movement Penalty, and the war on mobility comes to mind - but I think that this is enough for now, and brings up some of the far bigger issues I'm seeing right now. If you've made it this far, I want to thank you for reading and I hope there was some merit to this because it took a long time to write and put together.
  24. Sagini keeps asking me about someone called Thaos, I have no idea who that is. Unless I'm forgetting something, I assume it's a character from the main story who I haven't encountered/been told about yet. Bug, yes? (Her asking.) (My journal just after she asked.) Edit: Can't seem to upload my save file due to max file size restriction. Sorry.
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